Tag Archives: garden state

Celebrity Chef Amanda Freitag on “Chopped” and Her New Book

New Jersey-born celebrity chef Amanda Freitag sat down with Joanna Gagis on “Life & Living” to discuss her life-long passion for food, her role as a judge on The Food Network’s “Chopped,” and why she calls her new book, The Chef Next Door.

Freitag says that her love of cooking came from a love for eating, with food being “the answer to everything” growing up in Cedar Grove. “It was a typical suburban upbringing in New Jersey,” she explains. “My parents both worked, so they didn’t have time to cook a lot.” So, she set out to find good food. She started working in a restaurant when she was a teenager and fell in love with the energy, vibe, and adrenaline.

This Jersey girl has spent 20 years in food industry, and has written a new book for all different levels of cooks. She knows that many people are afraid of the kitchen when they first start cooking, and even has a chapter in her book titled, “The Scary Stuff.” Her advice? “Just do it.” Her book is an instructional tool, a home chef’s own personal cheerleader.

Freitag says that her experience as a judge on “Chopped” has taught and inspired her. After 396 episodes, she says “it has been fantastic.” Some of the ingredients used in the chef’s baskets are new to her, prompting her to try to cook with them herself.

Freitag is a big part of the Montclair Food & Wine Festival, calling Montclair her “backyard growing up.” She cites some wonderful restaurants in Montclair, and states that she loves “the chefs and the community.”

“This book was a long time coming,” she states, calling it  “a love letter to the home cook.” To order the book, head over to Freitag’s website. To learn more about “ Life & Living,” head over to their official Facebook page.

Different Colored Eyes Day

By: Andrea Fasciano

July 12th is Different Colored Eyes Day! To celebrate, #HipNJ has compiled a list of famous #NewJersey celebrities and their flawless eyes.

1. Tara Reid

This is what you call #puppylove

A photo posted by Tara Reid (@tarareid) on

2. Zoe Saldana

On newsstands today! Thank you @allure!

A photo posted by Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) on

3. Meryl Streep

Thank you for 100k followers ❤️ #streeper #merylstreep

A photo posted by Meryl Streep (@merylstreep) on

4. Queen Latifah

Excited for the #HollywoodAwards tonight LIVE at 8pm on CBS. bit.ly/HFA’sTonight

A photo posted by Queen Latifah (@queenlatifah) on

5. Jon Bon Jovi

6. Ashley Tisdale

7. Teala Dunn

8. Paul Wesley

9. Kacy Catanzaro

???✨ #MrMogley #RollDog #PartnerInCrime #GirlsBestFriend

A photo posted by kacycatanzaro (@kacycatanzaro) on

10. Grace Helbig

Celebrating Simplicity Day

By: Andrea Fasciano

July 12th marks Simplicity Day. It celebrates the birthday of writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau wisely stated, “As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will become simpler”. #HipNJ in honor of simplicity day has some perfect ways to make your life more simple!

1.Alleviate Stress

Tired of stressing out? To reduce daily anxiety it is important to set aside time for relaxation. Going to the spa is a great way to throw away all daily stress and make life simple. The #GardenState has some phenomenal spas such as:

The Woodhouse Day Spa, Montclair

Relaxation is good for the body and soul! Take time for yourself @woodhousedayspa. #wellnesswednesday #relax #nostress

A photo posted by The Woodhouse Day Spa (@woodhousedayspa) on

Cape May Day Spa, Cape May

Five Star Spa, Hillsborough

DePasquale The Spa, Morris Plains

2. Travel

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a gorgeous state that has a large amount of travel destinations. Don’t miss out on some of these fun places to visit in the #GardenState.

Casino Pier and Breakwater Beach, Seaside Heights

Keansburg Amusement Park and Runaway Rapids, Keansburg

Rebounderz, Edison

Splash Zone Water Park, Wildwood

Steel Pier, Atlantic City

3. Indulge

Indulging is the perfect way to make life simple . Here are some fabulous places in #NewJersey to spoil yourself with sweets.

Crowley Cupcakes, Madison

Black River Candy Shoppe, Chester

The Fudge Shoppe, Flemington

Gabriel’s Fountain, Martinsville